Bring on the Beavs! Abe-led Cougs win again

PULLMAN — Ken Bone was to the point Monday night when asked about the work of fifth-year senior Abe Lodwick. "Oh, he was great," Bone said after the Cougars dispatched Wyoming 61-41 to earn a College Basketball Invitation semi-final matchup Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corvallis against Oregon State. Lodwick turned in a career night in all phases of the game.

He scored a career-high 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished 4 assists, and played tough defense.

"He had to guard Leonard Washington and I know Leonard was their leading scorer but I thought he (Lodwick) did just as good a job defensively as he did offensively. It's just neat to see seniors like that just continuing to keep their career alive and perform the way he did."

Lodwick, the lone remnant from WSU's Sweet 16 NCAA Tourney team five years ago, was all smiles.

"It feels really good, I'm pretty happy right now," said Lodwick, who hit 6-of-8 shots from the field. "My teammates did a great job of getting me open and I was able to knock them down. I'm pretty confident in my shot and hopefully it wasn't my last game at Beasley but it was definitely a fun game."

To get back to the home court, the Cougs will need to beat the Beavs for the third time this season. WSU swept them in the regular season, 2-0, and then lost a nailbiter in the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles two weeks ago.

The Beavers beat TCU on Monday to get to the rematch. The winner will advance to the CBI championship -- a thre-game series -- agaimnst either Pitt or Butler.

IN THE WIN OVER Wyoming, Lodwick wasn't the lone star at center stage. As he has all season, Brock Motum was the main man on offense. The lanky Aussie scored a game-high 25 points and added seven rebounds.

Although the Cougars had their struggles from the floor in the second half, shooting 36.4 percent, Wyoming looked even worse and connected on only 7-of-23 attempts in the final 20 minutes. Frustration for the team was showcased throughout, and it was capped off when Larry Nance Jr. was ejected for the game for two straight technical fouls after an altercation with Motum.

WSU played fantastic team defense throughout the night, and Lodwick said it was one of the best defensive games the team has played all season. Lodwick played a major role in holding Washington to 4-of-10 shooting from the floor and forcing the forward into plenty of difficult shots.

Another player who stuck out on defense for WSU was freshmen DaVonte Lacy. The youngster from Curtis high was 0-of-4 from the field and finished with only two points, but Bone said he couldn't be happier with his play on the other end of the hardwood.

"Being a freshman he probably felt like he didn't play that well," Bone said. "But we felt as a staff it was one of his best games. He had four assists, a couple rebounds but he played great defense and it's probably his best defensive game all year. There's been talk on if he's hit the freshmen wall and here we are in mid-March and he brought it. He did a great job and we're proud of what he did."

As for Oregon State ...

"We know their stuff," Motum said. "We've played them three times now so the scout shouldn't be that difficult, it will just be about execution. They got us last time so hopefully we can get them this game. It will be a good test to see how we bounce back after losing to them in L.A. We'll have to bring it 100 percent like we have been and hopefully we pull out a win."

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